Pickens County pulls out hard fought 18-13 road win over Fayette County

Pickens County's Jermarcus Brown (12) runs the ball ahead of Fayette County's JaTevin Madison (3) during a game at Fayette High School Friday, Aug. 30, 2013. (Photo by MICHELLE LEPIANKA CARTER | THE TUSCALOOSA NEWS)


FAYETTE | It took numerous turnovers and a come-from-behind touchdown with three minutes to spare, but the Pickens County Tornadoes managed a hard-fought 18-13 road win over the Fayette County Tigers.

Neither team — both of which featured prolific offenses from 2012 — managed to score in the first quarter, and combined to complete only 3 of 11 passes.

In Pickens County’s opening second-quarter drive, the Tornadoes picked up a string of big plays of 9, 12 and 8 yards before junior running back Jermarcus Brown lit up the scoreboard with an electric, 65-yard run to give his team the early 6-0 lead.

Fayette County’s offensive struggles continued for the rest of the half, as they managed to earn only four first downs and 81 total yards. The Tornadoes capitalized on the Tigers’ stagnant office to increase their lead to 12-0, scoring a 20-yard connection from senior quarterback Devonte’ Simon to his twin, Deonte’.

The Tigers were far from finished, however. They finally got off the board when backup quarterback Nathaniel Guy hit JaTevin Madison on a crossing route to bring the score to 12-7.

After a Pickens County fumble, the Tigers drove 33 yards and capped it off with a 3-yard touchdown run from Madison, to go up 13-12.

Fayette County coach Lance Tucker said he was impressed with his team’s mental toughness to fight back from a 12-0 deficit.

“Their toughness was never in question,” Tucker said. They always play hard. (Starting quarterback Hunter Walker) went down, and we bring a kid in who hadn’t had quite the reps, and he did a super job of bringing us back, leading us back down the field.”

Despite the Tigers’ initial surge in the second half, neither team threatened again until late in the fourth, when a costly Tigers fumble gave the Tornadoes the ball at their own 24 with five minutes remaining.

Another late connection between Devonte’ and Deonte’ Simon put Pickens County in scoring position, and Brown finished off the drive with another explosive touchdown run, this time from 22 yards out, to give his team the 18-13 final score.

Devonte’ Simon sealed the win for his team with his first interception of the season, and the Tornadoes ran the clock out to end the game.

Devonte’ Simon said he was excited to have contributed to his team’s win in such a big way, but attributed his own performance to his team’s preparation.

“We had a great week of practice,” Devonte’ Simon said. “We just worked, trying to get better for the game.”

Tornadoes coach Patrick Plott shared his quarterback’s sentiments on his team’s growth.

“This is a tough team we fought,” Plott said. “We grew up a little bit tonight.”